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The Brand

THE ORIGINALS SERIES: STEPHEN BENT

We’re celebrating our birthday at Dr. Martens this year by highlighting creative individuals across the world who are originals in their own fields; whether that be art, music, or fashion. Dr. Martens Originals styles have become iconic over time, worn by authentic characters who embody rebellious self-expression. In these interviews, we recognise the creative individuals who inspire us, and find out who they are and what they stand for.  
 
Today we speak to Stephen Bent, the Production Manager of our very own Cobbs factory in Northampton.  
 

Stephen Bent wearing the 3989 Brogues.
Stephen Bent wearing the 3989 Brogues that he made earlier that day.
 
 
Introduce yourself; what do you do?
I’m Stephen, I am the UK Production Manager for Dr. Martens. I’m based in Wollaston in the factory on Cobbs Lane and work with a team of talented shoemakers and developers on the Made In England product. I also manage the Dr. Martens Shoemaking Apprenticeship which trains a new class of shoemakers every year how to make our products. When I’m not at work I’m either walking my dogs, crate digging for old records or trying to convince my wife we should have dinner at the pub.  
 
Tell us about your relationship with Dr. Martens and what does it mean to you to be a part of the brand?
I’ve worn DM’s ever since I was a teenager. All my musical heroes wore them back in my guitar feedback drenched youth and I wanted in on the action. It’s a brand that doesn’t chase trends in my eyes. The name stands on its own. I respect that. My first professional association with the brand was back in my art college days when I was paid to sit in a local shoe store and paint custom patterns on Docs for customers on Saturdays. Having worked in manufacturing for almost 20 years I’ve managed to get away with Docs for work boots my entire working life. I don’t feel like me in any other boots. 
 
Stephen
Stephen Bent wearing the 3989 Brogues that he made earlier that day.
 
 
What’s your favourite thing about working in the Cobbs Lane Factory?
I love the energy this team brings to the shopfloor every single day. If Dr. Martens is a lifestyle product it is embodied by the people who make them and their indomitable spirit. It’s a close knit team of multi-talented people. If we could bottle the attitude of our staff we could conquer the world. They’re funny, they’re clever, they’re wildly unpredictable and yet rock solid reliable when it comes to doing a good job. We’ve usually got a nice mix of Vintage styles, seasonal work and special collaborations or bespoke pairs. No two work days are ever the same.  
 
Who’s the most exciting person that you’ve taken on a factory tour?
I should probably say someone famous like Ross Nobel or Agyness Deyn or one of the bands we’ve had visit, but in total honesty the best tours are when someone who is a massive fan of the brand gets brought round by their mates as a birthday treat. We had a Lady celebrate a big Birthday with a surprise visit her friends arranged back in January. The tour involved us making her a special pair as she walked round. They were such a lovely bunch of people. They all got super excited by every step we showed them. They joked and laughed with all of the staff on their way round. She cried tears of happiness at the end when we presented her with her finished boots.  
 
steph
Stephen Bent wearing the 3989 Brogues that he made earlier that day.
 
 
What three tracks are you listening to right now?
Bob Mould – Patch The Sky (it sounds like it could have come from Copper Blue era Sugar and takes me right back to my youth)
Frank Carter and The Rattlesnakes – Juggernaut (shouty punk is the best kind of punk)
Ginger Wildheart – Only Henry Rollins Can Save Us Now (mad northern DIY Pop Metal is good for your teeth) 
 
And finally, what do you stand for?
I stand for hard work, and dancing to the radio. 
 
To celebrate our birthday, find out how you could win tickets and accommodation at Festival No.6 here